As David explains, larger numbers of older individuals are turning to the computer for help hyperlinking the heartstrings to solve an all too familiar mystery: Where do you meet people?
“God forbid you have to resort to bingo or something,” he jokes.
But what about members of the younger generation, people who seem to have greater opportunity (and more time) to come across lovers organically? Helen Paul, a 26-year-old who took the plunge mainly for a giggle and to combat growing “boredom with life in general”, admits that, despite the assumption that under 30s have no problem meeting new potential partners, online dating did, in fact, help her to meet people she would never have otherwise crossed paths with.
Strike one: she reports that her online dating site’s compatibility quizzes seemed “off”; she was found time and again to be most compatible with 59-year-olds from Durbanville, not exactly flattering for a young city centre draughtswoman and 3D visualizer working at cutting-edge furniture design company Pierre Cronje.
Strike two: her fleeting liaison with what she describes as, “a person who turned out to be a ‘man-child’.” As she puts it, “He did NOT turn out to be the person I expected, which is the big thing about online dating.
“The great thing about online dating is that you can be as specific or unspecific as you want to be; you really can lay out who you are and what it is you’re looking for.
I think that’s one of the big appeals.” He ultimately agrees with Helen though, saying, “The objective of online dating is actually to meet face-to-face; our success is our failure.” A statement that the young draughtswoman takes one step further.
In particular, more people of colour and more people from an older generation (55 to 60 ) are perusing the platforms for a potential long-term partner, companion or friend, not necessarily with sexual intentions.
After all, the end game can be anything from a one-night stand to marriage, depending on what you’re in the market for.The idea sounds at best trite, at worst completely insane.Yet, since its South African inception in the mid 90s, online dating has ballooned into a third-party matchmaker consulted by more than a million people each year.Though, it’s this very argument that, David points out, is detrimental to online dating.Calling the freedom Facebook allows voyeurs an invasion of privacy, he believes that one of the upsides of online dating platforms is that you can exercise a degree of control that you don’t have otherwise.Though, his gut feeling is that the answer is yes, online dating is the better route to Mr. “Interests are integrated in a much more natural way on Facebook,” Ramon asserts.